Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sick in Wales

Hey Everybody,

I've not been feeling great yesterday and today...(I went to bed at 6 last night and slept until 7:30 this morning, and still the pastors are comparing me to Lazerus BEFORE he was raised from the dead...and I even put extra makeup on today! =) Somehow, I'm still exhausted.

All this to say I might not be blogging (or emailing you back) for the next few days. Just to rest up and pray and prepare my heart for boasting in weakness this week!

I appreciate your understanding, am so grateful for your love and support, and covet your prayers!

What a joy to know the Faithful One is pursuing my heart this moment. Ah, glorious. Hope you're doing well! Love you!

*Oh, and don't worry, Mom. The team is taking care of me. The girls made dinner tonight and are doing the dishes (the guys are drying...we don't have a dishwasher) and they're all doing tomorrow's lesson plans and have sent me to bed. How sweet!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A full weekend...(and long post)

We celebrated Peter and Mike's birthdays at the Paso's on Saturday night. Sarah made Mike's favorite dish- his grandma's spaghetti and bolognese recipe. And then she made pavlova. His favorite dessert.

I attempted Peter's grandma's cinnamon rolls and banana cake with the help of Ives and Kat. It was fun trying!

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We got Peter a fire pit for the guy's backyard.

Today we went to church and then went to the beach with the Uni students. Lots of freshers came which was great- new relationships built! I rode with Anna, her cousin Emily, and their friend Mabel in Mabel's convertible. We had so much fun!

Cheeseburgers, chips (fries), and diet coke (stereotypical American meal) at the cafe by the beach for lunch! It's 10p for a packet of katsup! Ridiculous! We spent over a pound on little packets. Peter had most of them. He eats even more katsup than me.


Isn't it gorgeous?! Very different from the beaches I've been to in the States. No sand. Mostly rocks. Very uncomfortable to sit on...

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Boys will be boys. Always on an adventure looking for something new and exciting.


This picture reminds me of snorkeling in Hanama Bay in Hawaii with Drew, Gwen, and Joy. I think just the shape of the hill (though much smaller here) and the way the water goes into it...

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Me, Anna, Ives, and Lawrence. He's the president of CU which stands for Christian Union. In the States, there's usually numerous College Ministries to be involved with- Campus Crusade, Inner Varsity, Young Life, etc. But here at UWIC (University of Wales Institute in Cardiff- the local Uni), they have one.


The Gweedo Family. In Peter's interview for the GAP Team with Dan, he thought Dan pronounced his last name Guh-wee-duh. It's actually Guh-ve-duh. But, from Guh-wee-duh, we got Gweedo, and that has actually morphed into "Gweeds." This is him, his wife Kat, their son Noah, Leah (who will be 3 on Sunday!) and their miracle baby, Caitlin. She had a lot of heart problems when she was born; incredible story.


Anna, Gerard (which they pronounce Jair-Ah-d), and Lawrence. Gerard is from South Africa! Isn't that cool?!


Ben Greasely (Anna's brother) posing like a super hero. He sat next to me in the minibus on the drive back and we had great conversations about space, the universe, God's VASTNESS, His eternal-ness, our finite minds, etc. It left me more in awe of God. Growing my fear of God- who He is, His power, my utter small-ness, and yet, His care for me. Wow.

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The beautiful Ives.


This is Sarah and Romani. (I don't know if I spelled his name right.) They are getting married next August! Romani actually picked us up from the airport with Dan when we first arrived. Sarah is an incredible witness. She lives with 4 or 5 girls who are not saved, and she is constantly serving them, loving them, reaching out to them, and preaching the gospel to them. What an example she is to me. I can't wait to learn more from her. She's quickly becoming a dear friend.


This is Caitlin. Gweedo's youngest. How precious.


And sweet Leah. Ah, look at those eyes. They're gorgeous.

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And this is Kat, Dan's wife, and Caitlin.


I wanted a picture with that cute face.


We went to Troy's Kebabs for dinner. Not Kabobs, but Kebabs. "Bandana Man" wasn't there (apparently he's the best at making them) but they were DELISH. I had chicken- a bunch of people had lamb (I would've had lamb, but they didn't have enough...) and YUM-O. Definitely going back there again!

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So. I sit here on my bed typing away, copying and pasting pictures, and am THRILLED to have the day completely off tomorrow. My plans? To have a lie in until about noon. If its later, that's totally fine by me. I'm shattered. Completely knackered. Then maybe a run (they're the highlights of my week). A shower. And prepping meals. (Meghann, I've totally looked at the Menu on your calendar and stolen meal ideas from you =).

Thanks for enduring with me in this long post- I'll try to do shorter ones in the future- I know its a lot to sit down and read.

Well, it's only just dinner time on the East Coast, but it's almost midnight here. My pillow is calling!

Hope you were aware of the grace available to you today, and that you ENJOYED it to its FULLEST! G'night!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Week 3 at Bettws High School

Welcome to Miss Williams' class! (It's actually Mrs. Williams, but everyone calls everyone else "miss".)
This is Laura Williams and myself.
Dan gave me the brilliant idea of giving the kids a face to draw hair on and create a style. Well, I took that idea (and with help from Ives!) RAN with it. It took the full 2 hours of my hair class today. I was so impressed with what the kids did! I had them fill out a "brainstorming" page first. Deciding if the "character" they were coming up with had glasses, freckles, jewelry, piercings, bangs (which they call fringe), etc. Then, they drew it! This only proves my point that hair and make up can do SO MUCH to change a look. Each of the pictures on the bulletin board started out exactly the same. Craziness.
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I know what you're thinking. What in the world does this have to do with the Gospel? Well, a lot. We are in these schools, building relationships with these kids, so that when we do assemblies and share Truth with them, we have some foundation of relationship for them to (hopefully) respect us and give us some integrity behind what we're saying. But probably more effectively, it gives us the opportunity to invite them to the church's events- such as Shock Wave, Fuse, and Vintage Jesus. We are also reaching out to the teachers with hopes that their hearts will be opened to receiving the life changing news of Christ's death and resurrection.

We then had an awards assembly for the Kingswood trip we went on- you know, all the repelling and zip lining and stuff a few weeks ago? They gave us awards too, for going with them. Hip hip, Horray!
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Tonight (after a nap =) was dinner at the Rees' house and then Home Group. Words cannot describe to you my love for this family already. My respect for them, my amazement at God's grace in them and through them, the amazing ways they have served Peter and I so far...its beyond words. Sue is an absolutely FANTASTIC cook. Oh yum. And the desserts she makes?! Woah buddy. Peter and I both had seconds on his first birthday cake- dessert with the fam. It was a sponge cake they said-- like strawberry shortcake. DELISH. ;) And yes, you read correctly, Peter's first birthday cake. Sue made a SECOND cake for HOME GROUP people (which the dog ate earlier this afternoon) and she went to the store to replace it. Peter was sung to 5 times today. Speaking of Peter. I hope you enjoy this next bit. He's going to kill me...

When we first got here, Toms thought he looked like "Where's Wally"...or, what we call in the States, "Where's Walldo." Today, we were carrying benches to the assembly room, and Peter and Taige and Dave were in front of me. I heard one of the high school girls ask Miss Brown (the head teacher) who Peter was. She said, "He's one of the Americans." (That's what we are..."The Americans".) The girl then exclaimed, "He looks like 'Where's Wally'!" I laughed. What do you think???

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008


(Last night we had an "early celebrating" of Peter's birthday. We sang with the candle not lit because we don't have matches or anything- and then Sat Nav had the idea of lighting the candle with the gas stove...thus, Ives and I both presenting the cake.)

Peter, we are so glad you're on our team! The dynamic you add is crucial and we are so excited about the work God has done and is doing in and through you. Your friendship is so refreshing!

Happy Happy Birthday! You're officially the oldest member of the GAP Team now- how does it feel?
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Weekend update

Saturday we had FUSE. Anna and I were captains for our pick up football (soccer) team. HYSTERICAL. My team totally won. The most embarrassing part, was: I stole the ball from one of the really good players on the other team, had NO ONE on defense- just me, the ball, the goal and the goalie- I was on...they call it a "break away" in hockey, what is it in soccer??? Well, you get the point, and I TOTALLY MISSED the goal in its ENTIRETY! I scored later in the game after missing another WIDE OPEN shot, so it didn't really make it justifiable. But I had a stinkin BLAST. In one of the skateboard races I was in, I had one of the girls hold my camera, and someone threw a ball at her, and unfortunately, it was dropped, and it broke. The lens broke. I don't think its repairable. But Ives is letting me borrow hers!

Sunday afternoon we had an "Australian Sausage Sizzle." All the Uni (University) students from Christchurch came over to the guy's house and we had glorified hot dogs on bread instead of a bun. I had so much fun getting to know some of the girls. We then went to the top of the hill behind the guys house (where I run to when I go for a run) - it's gorgeous!

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Emily, Vikki, Anna, me.

Then Ives, Anna, Emily (Anna's cousin) and I climbed a tree behind the guy's house in our Sunday best!


That night we had dinner at the guy's house. We were so full from the sausages (I wasn't though, I could barely make myself finish it; not a huge fan...) we had chicken Caesar salad and watched Zoolander. The guy's have an apple tree behind the house, so they picked the apples, and we made apple pie! It was DELIC. (Peter and Toms just informed me that it should be spelled Delish. What do you guys think?)

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Monday was GORGEOUS. We've had like 10 or 11 days in a row with no rain. I LOVE IT! It's still a wee bit chilly, but I think I'm adjusting. I went for the best run of my life so far on Monday. Up to the top of the hill behind the guy's house. It's pretty much uphill the whole way. I had heaven in my ears as I listened to worship music and tried to SOAK IN all of the blessings of being here. This wonderfully quaint little town, the gorgeous views, the Savior of my life pursuing my soul, awakening my heart to ways He is working that I couldn't readily see before- it was UH-MAZING.

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Ives serves us by doing all our laundry. We don't have a dryer, so she was hanging it up to dry-- how fun! =)

Tuesday is "study day". The guys and Mike came over and we had chocolate chip muffins and talked about some culture differences and heard from Mike on other things. We read a chapter in Knowing God, and the first chapter of Bible Doctrine. Man, I'm loving that book. Then...dun da duh....we got internet! So, yes! I am blogging from the comfort of my very own living room couch! It is 6:30 in the morning because we don't have wireless set up yet-- and my lap top is the only one that can pick up the internet (???) so it's been communal. Ives hasn't had a chance to check her mail yet, so I wanted to make sure she could do that this morning if she had time.

Today we're off to Mount Pleasant- meeting the year 4s. We're going to be alternating every Monday- one week we'll be with year 1s, the next with year 4s. Then, our very needed planning half day! I have to come up with a curriculum for hair and gymnastics this term. Whew. Glad Dan is a teacher- I definitely need his help! Any ideas? Send them my way! (Keep in mind, about half the class is boys...)

Hope you are doing well and enjoying the NEW MERCY the LORD created afresh for you today! Specifically tailored to YOU and YOUR day TODAY! Over and out...